Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 12

Monday morning after dropping off Nick we did our shopping for our own OCC boxes.  We headed over to the church to pack the boxes.



 When we got back home, we did our Weave Your Word in Me Bible lesson, read a chapter of George Washington True Patriot, and completed a lesson in Let's Go Geography on Finland.

In the afternoon we all completed math and handwriting lessons.  Christian and Anthony started Step 21 in AAS Level 4.  They also completed a lesson in Readers in Residence on Charlotte's Web.  Emmie completed Lesson 22 in AAR Level One and Lily completed a lesson in AAR Level 3.  Emmie has finished the first reader and has been practicing those stories on her own.  Lily is almost finished with the second reader of volume 3.  Teaching reading can be one of the most difficult things, but we really love All About Reading.

Chelsea was trying to get a paper finished and the baby was not being very cooperative, so I went and picked him up and brought him to the house for a few hours.  The girls had him laughing hysterically!  It was so funny it makes me laugh to listen to him laughing.

Then I had a Mom's Night Out dinner.  Every mom needs  a night out sometimes and I greatly enjoy this once a month opportunity.

Tuesday Emmie woke up with a sinus headache.  We made it through our morning schoolwork completing our Bible lesson, reading another chapter in George Washington True Patriot, and reading through lesson 12 on America's Story called The Power of Words that focused on Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.  It reminded me of a fun book that I read aloud to the older boys years ago called Ben and Me, that I would love to read aloud to the others.  So many books, so little time! In the afternoon we did our usual math, spelling, reading, and handwriting.  Then it was time to head to gymnastics.  Emmie did not participate, just watched.

Lily landed the back tuck!



We dropped Nick off and headed home.

Wednesday morning I took my computer to church so the boys could work on their Thinking Like an Engineer curriculum.  I could not get the video to load at my house, but it worked fine there.  We learned how to use the CAD software and had some fun making some different shapes.

After our afternoon school work it was time to head off to Kid's Club.


Thursday after our Bible lessons we read two chapters of George Washington True Patriot after our Bible lesson.  We did not work on any poems this week and we did not get to our science book, but Thinking Like an Engineer counts as science.  In the afternoon we worked on our reading, math, handwriting, and spelling.  Liam did not take a good nap, so I did most of the lessons while walking around and trying to entertain him.  I discovered Alex is having some difficulties with his math (sometimes multiple choice can be a bad thing especially if they guess right they can get things correct and not really understand concepts), so we are not moving forward with the curriculum until we understand it.  I am using some worksheets from Super Teacher worksheets to supplement and may turn to CTC Math .

Thursday afternoon was piano and guitar lessons.  The teacher told the children about the music recital coming up and had them choose a song to play.  After first being paralyzed by fear and worry that she wouldn't be able to read the music, Lily has decided to be excited.  She is playing What Child is This.  Alex on the other hand, is not at all excited about it.  In fact he doesn't want me to make him do it.  Sigh....

Friday we ran errands and did some much needed housework.  Nick and Al went to the game Friday night with their daddy.  I put the girls to bed, let the other two boys turn on a movie and watched a movie all my myself.

Saturday was opening day of modern gun.  Art got a doe in the morning and Alex got a button buck in the evening.  No pictures...

Lily made a blanket from the material my mom sent her.

Anthony was not acting like himself at all.  I asked him several times if he didn't feel good, but he kept telling me he was fine.  When I kissed him goodnight though I knew he was running a fever.  He said his head and neck hurt a little.  So Art stayed home with him Sunday morning while the rest of us went to church.

That afternoon he took Christian hunting.  He did not get a deer.  Now the girls want to go too....

Sunday evening Alex and Nick had a youth cookout, so I took the others to the park.  They played on the equipment a bit and we walked the walking trail.Anthony was not running fever but still wasn't himself so he sat in the van.



I let Lily eat some cheesecake as a snack.  I have suspected she may have a slight dairy intolerance and have cut way back on her milk products.  Anyway she woke in the middle of the night and started vomiting.  No more milk before bed for her. Then a few hours later Anthony came in and said his ear hurt really bad and he felt like he was going to throw up.  He did.... I took him to the doc and he has a nasty ear infection.  I told the doctor that Anthony never complains about not feeling well so when he said it hurt I knew it had to be bad.  I got to look in his ear with the otoscope.  It looked pretty bad to me! 10 days of antibiotics for him. Hoping we get rid of it and that everyone else stays healthy.  Oct/Nov and Feb/March are always our worst sick months.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Review: An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin




Book Description " Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman - Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston- Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin - As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid - When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie? "

An Amish Christmas Love is made up of 4 short Christmas novellas and makes for a quick and easy read. Since they are novellas and not full length novellas, the authors do not have as much time to devote to characterization and very deep plots, but each of the authors do a good job drawing the reader in to these stories.  Each story is uplifting and hopeful and I would recommend to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction. 

My favorite was Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin. I have reviewed several of these types of books titled An Amish... including An Amish Market and an Amish Christmas Gift.  Each one had a story by Kelly Irvin about the same Amish community so I did a search to see if there were any full length novels that would tell me more about her characters.  There were three.  So I had to buy those and then read all of them in order so I could put all of the pieces together :)


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Thinking Like an Engineer

Innovators Tribe


One of the really cool benefits of being part of the Homeschool Review Crew is discovering companies and products that you have never heard of before.  I had never heard of Innovators Tribe before they showed up on our upcoming vendor list.  Over the last several weeks I have had an opportunity to use and review their Thinking Like an Engineer course with two of my boys.


Thinking Like an Engineer

Thinking Like an Engineer is an online course designed for students in grades 6-12.  The course is around 30 hours long.  It is a self paced course that students can work on independently that uses multi media instruction and contains many hands on activities. There is also a downloadable course journal included that students will be able to document what they have learned.  Links to the design software that is necessary to complete the 3D design activities are included.  Other items needed to complete the engineering challenges are simple items that you either have around your house or will be able to easily acquire.

In the course students will learn what an engineer is and what they do.  They will learn about the different types of engineers and what types of problems they are trying to solve. They will learn to think like an engineer and some of the worlds greatest engineering challenges.  Students will complete several engineering challenges including making a tower, a structure that can support the weight of many books, and a water filter.  They will also design using CAD software, design and build bridges, design and build a roller coaster, and more.  The course has 5 units with several lessons in each unit:

Introduction to Engineering
Introduction to 3 D Design
Engineering Rollercoasters
Engineering Bridges
Nano Engineering

Once you purchase your course, you have access to the course for 18 months. Online lessons can be watched more then once.  You do not have to purchase a course for each of your children, families can use the course together.  The regular price for Thinking Like an Engineer is $149.  Innovators Tribe also offers a Thinking Like an Architect Course and they have a Thinking Like a Carpenter Course coming soon.

My boys love things that are related to science.  Their main 4 h project area is STEM (science, technology,  engineering, mathematics,) so I knew this course would be interesting to them.  But the main reason I wanted them to take this course is because their daddy is an engineer.  His degree is in Mechanical Engineering, but he has worked as a product engineer, design engineer, manufacturing engineer, quality engineer, some I am probable forgetting, and he is now a Manufacturing Engineering Manager.  Last summer when we toured his plant and he was able to show the boys some of the things he has designed they were fascinated by it.  I knew they would be interested in learning more.  Christian is actually only in 5th grade and Anthony is in 6th grade.  We have been working on the Thinking Like an Engineer course 2 days per week.  

The course is very easy to use.  Once you sign up and log in it takes you in order through the lessons.  If you have to stop halfway through a lesson, it keeps track of your place and allows you to pick up where you left off the next time you log in. You click through the lesson using the arrows at the bottom of the screen.  Sometimes a video plays, other times you have to read through some slides. 






The first engineering challenge was to build a tower using regular computer paper and tape.  My boys told their 8 year old sister that she was too young to figure out how to make a tower, so she had to make one too, and I think she did a great job!



Lily's tower


The second challenge was to use a piece paper and 2 ft of tape to build a structure that could support the weight of several books.  It was fun for me to watch their thinking process trying to figure out how to make a structure that would support the most weight.



Hands on activities are always a hit, but they have enjoyed watching the lessons too.  They have learned some things they didn't know about the different types of engineers that exist and have even had the opportunity to do some research on several topics.  One of the things they found very interesting was the idea of Virtual Reality so we did some research on it and why it is an engineering challenge.

Last week we downloaded the necessary software to start working on the 3 D Design section.  We live in the country and have super slow internet so I knew it was going to take some time to download.  It did take several hours.  The next day we tried to watch the video teaching how to use the software but the file was too big for my internet speed to handle so we had to wait until we could go somewhere that had better WiFi.  We had not had any issues watching the videos up to that point. This is no reflection on the course itself, it's what you know you have to deal with when taking online courses when your neighbors are cows.  We headed to my church a few days later and was able to watch the videos and practice using the software.  They were able to do some cool things!

I am so glad we have had an opportunity to review this course.  Even if your child does not have an interest in being an engineer, learning how to be a problem solver, an innovator, is a great skill to have. Mr. K is a very interesting teacher and does a great job presenting the information.  We have loved the hands on activities.  If there was one thing that I wish was different it would be to be able to make the slides in the course larger as they can be hard to see. I am looking forward to completing this course with the boys and would love to go through the Thinking Like an Architect as well.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review Thin Stix Creativity Pack

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
The Pencil Grip, Inc. carries a variety of products including pencil grips, Kwik Stix and Thin Stix paint sticks, fidgets, plus a variety of school and office supplies.  Ever since the first time The Pencil Grip, Inc. contacted me to review their Kwik Stix, we have been hooked on their products.  We were very excited to have an opportunity to review their Thin Stix Creativity Pack .
Thin Stix Creativity Pack 
 
Thin Stix are solid tempera paint sticks that dry in 90 seconds.  They can be used on a wide variety of materials including paper, canvas, cardboard, wood, poster board and more.  We even painted rocks with them and then hid them for others to find. They are non toxic and washable.  They wash off of surfaces, skin, and clothing. No water is needed to use these paints, which means no water to spill and clean up!  All you have to do to use them is uncap, twist, and paint.  It is true paint and will not crack and peel, and you can use two colors to blend and make new colors or make your colors lighter or darker.

We loved the Kwik Stix when we first tried them out.  Kwik Stix are smaller and fatter then Thin Stix, similar to a glue stick.  After those were so popular the company released the Thin Stix which are thinner and able to get in hard to reach places and longer.  We loved the Thin Stix 6 pack of classic colors that we reviewed earlier in the year.  The girls made some amazing pictures, we painted rocks with them, and even made cards to send to kids in the hospital.  We wished we had a few more color options though and were excited to see this Creativity Pack.  The Thin Stix Creativity Pack has 24 different Thin Stix including 12 classic colors, 6 neon colors, and 6 metalix.  
Emmie was practicing writing some of the words she was learning using the Neon Thin Stix.  This was a great fun way to reinforce what she had been learning.  My photos do not do the brightness of the colors justice.


Lily did some fun pictures.


The colors are bold and bright.  We love the shimmer of the metalix and the brightness of the neon colors.  All of the other reasons we love Thin Stix still hold true.  They are easy to use.  You can use them on the go, and if they accidentally paint on the table or another surface it cleans right up with a wet rag.  I love how quick they dry.  They are great for Sunday School, co-op. or 4 H projects.  
We will be using these to paint some Christmas ornaments and decorations very soon!
The Thin Stix Creativity pack has a great combination of colors that children will love.  This would make a great gift for the children in your life (and for their parents too!) 

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 11

I am a few days late posting this because we were out of town this week-end.

After our Bible lesson on Mondays (still working on our Weave Your Word in Me Bible study) we do geography.  Well actually we usually work on poetry first but we didn't this week.  Our geography lesson was a review of the countries we have learned so far in North and South America. They all completed a math lesson, Christian and Anthony started step 20 in AAS Level 4, and did their handwriting and reading of Johnny Tremain.  Emmie did lesson 21 in AAR Level 1 and Lily read one of her magic stories.

That afternoon we had our 4 H meeting packing OCC Boxes.

After that I met Art and gave him the children and my van and I took his truck to my required 4 H leader training (I have to have 4 hours of training per year.)


Tuesday after our Bible lesson I had planned on watching a Torchlighter's video on Martin Luther but was unable to stream it.  So instead I read a short biography on him.  Then we worked on a lesson in Thinking Like an Engineer and downloaded software to start learning CAD.  In the afternoon we did our math, spelling, reading, and handwriting.

Then we had gymnastics.


After gymnastics we went to church to change into costumes and left Nick there for senior high youth. 

Alex went ahead to the park to hand out candy with the 4 H Teen Leaders and then the rest of us followed to go through the Trick or Treat Trail.  It was cold and started to rain while we were in the park so we didn't stay long.  We stopped by two houses and headed back home.


Wednesday after Bible we worked on Lesson 11 in America's Story.  We could not do the next lesson in Thinking Like an Engineer because I couldn't load the video (already slow internet is being much slower lately!) After lunch they did their math, reading, spelling, and handwriting and then we headed off to Kid's Club.

Thursday morning after our Bible lesson, I started reading aloud George Washington True Patriot from YWAM Publishing.  We did a science lesson on Stephen Hales and water transport in plants.  We did an experiment with celery to show how this works.  Our afternoon was spent on math, reading, handwriting, and spelling.  The boys finished Johnny Tremain and we will be moving on to the next unit in Readers in Residence on Charlotte's Web.


Lily and Alex had music lessons.



Friday after I picked up Nick from school we loaded the camper to head to Little Rock for the week-end.  We went to Maumelle Park which is on the Arkansas River.  You are in the city, but actually not.  It was very pretty. 








Friday night we dropped off Christian and Alex at Forestry and Wildlife Camp at the 4 H center.  It was Christian's first overnight camp and I was nervous but he was fine.  While they were there they had workshops and activities on archeology, food plots,  built a bat house, ATV safety, rode 4 wheelers, Gun Safety, shot BB guns, population/trapping analysis, scavenger hunt, and rock climbing.  I hope they post pictures on the FB page so I can see some!

Saturday morning we headed to the BEST Robotics competition and were there all day watching Nick compete with his team.  He drove two rounds.  It was a fire rescue theme this year.  The team did really well and won 5 different awards.  They are moving on to compete in Regionals at Fort Smith in December.





After the competition we went back to the campsite, fished a little, and cooked over the campfire.



Sunday we didn't have to pick the boys up until 1, so we went to the zoo.







baby penguins


I hope you had a great week!  Happy Homeschooling!